Is this a dsfg violation?

Michael Poole mdpoole at
Wed Oct 18 23:59:47 BST 2006

Joel Bryan Juliano writes:

> but according to dfsg <>,
> 4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code
> The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form
> _only_ if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the
> source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The
> license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified
> source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name
> or version number from the original software. (This is a compromise. The
> Debian group encourages all authors not to restrict any files, source or
> binary, from being modified.)
> I like to point out this in a very positive manner, since I'm a big ubuntu
> fan, but sin't it all the modifications should be carried out using the
> patches and left the source code intact?

DFSG #4 talks about what restrictions a license may place on a
licensee.  The "only" that you emphasized does not apply if the
license allows the licensee to distribute a modified form of the
source code.

The MPL (one valid license for Firefox) allows licensees to distribute
modified versions of the source code, so it does not have a problem.

Were you asking this in a general context or is there something
specific about Firefox that makes you think it has a DFSG#4 issue?

Michael Poole

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